Updated: Jun 1
We used to think it was all in our genes. How fast your skin aged or how fast you aged in general was thought to be a role of the dice.
Today's research suggests that intrinsic skin aging is more than what genes you've inherited. It's more like whether you've turned on the right genes to promote longevity. Today we know that genes that define aging only influences about 20% of aging itself. The rest is connected to how you live and of course, how you treat your skin.
Sun is a big factor. That is because the UV damage from the sun damages the DNA of your skin cells. When DNA is damaged the cell no longer behaves the same way as their predecessors. That in of itself is basically what aging is all about. When cells, tissues and the like reproduce but not quite in the same way, there are tiny little mistakes that accumulate over time. The result is that you are now you are producing inferior cells. This is as spiral effect because inferior cells are less able to defend themselves against age promoting aggressors.
Since antioxidants such as Vitamin C, Vitamin E and polyphenols (from the pigment of plants) can protect you to a certain extent, this is what spawned the "free radical theory of aging". It is important to eat as well and use products rich in antioxidants. This will to slow down some of this type of aging. But there is more. There is a loss of energy which occurs over time that results in the inability of cells to repair themselves after damage. The result is little changes evolve into imperfect repair of cells that leads to aging. Also cells become deficient of repair factors that are necessary to stimulate sleepy genes to wake up and do their job of repairing and replacing skin cells. The loss of growth factors over time, make it difficult for cells to go into repair mode.
How well your genes stimulate repair is dependent on whether you are doing things that accentuate aging or slow down aging. These lifestyle factors have to do with choosing a proper diet (filled with antioxidant fruits and veggies), avoiding non foods and sugar, moving your body to energize and oxygenate your circulation, getting reparative sleep and reducing aging stress hormones.
Longevity skincare means focusing on getting what you need from active ingredients in your skincare regime to keep your ability to repair cellular damage for longer. Skincare ingredients that are important here are growth factors, retinol, vitamin C humectants for hydration and of course, sun protection. You can choose to do some of these things or dedicate yourself to all the pro-longevity options available to reap the rewards of having great looking skin throughout all the stages of your life.